COLUMBUS, Ohio – After opening the home schedule at Buckeye Field last weekend, the Ohio State softball team travels to Minneapolis for its first Big Ten road series against Minnesota at 3 p.m. ET Saturday and 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. The Scarlet and Gray head into the weekend with a 7-20 ledger and 0-2 record in Big Ten play, while the Golden Gophers are 19-14 overall and 1-1 in conference action.
FOLLOWING FROM HOME
A link for live stats can be found on the softball schedule page at gophersports.com or OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Minnesota leads the all-time series, 56-34, against the Buckeyes. Last season, Ohio State swept the Golden Gophers in Columbus April 24-25 with 2-1 and 13-5 victories.
BUCKEYE QUICK HITS
LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes dropped two games last weekend against Iowa to open the home schedule and Big Ten play at Buckeye Field as the Hawkeyes picked up 5-3 and 7-2 victories in Columbus. In game one, Ohio State had the winning run on base in the final inning, but could not claim the big hit as the Hawkeyes held on for the league win. Offensively, freshman Evelyn Carrillo led the Buckeyes at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run. In game two, Iowa posted three runs in the first and four runs in the third to claim the weekend sweep. Junior Alicia Herron was 2-for-2 with a solo home run. She leads the team with 11-multi hit performances in 2011.
KALAFATIS CLAIMS 500 WINS
Head coach Linda Kalafatis claimed her 500th career victory at the helm of the Buckeyes March 18 in the 4-1 win vs. Harvard March 18 in San Diego, Calif.
In her 15th season at Ohio State, Kalafatis is one of the most successful coaches in the Big Ten and the NCAA. She is one of four conference coaches with more than 700 career wins, placing her among the Top 30 active coaches in the country. The 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Kalafatis is third among current Big Ten coaches in number of victories – with five fewer years of coaching experience than her nearest colleague.
The Buckeyes have won 30 or more games in nine of Kalafatis’ 14 seasons in Columbus and in each of the last seven seasons. Also the Big Ten coach of the year in 2002, she has guided Ohio State to six of the program’s seven NCAA tournament appearances (2002, ’04, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10), including its first trip to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009.
Kalafatis entered the 2011 campaign with a 493-298 (.623) record in 14 years at Ohio State, which marks the best win total and winning percentage in program history. In 22 years as a collegiate head coach, including stops at her alma mater California (Pa.) and Akron, she owns a record of 773-431-2 (.644).
Junior co-captain Alicia Herron is leading the team with a .423 batting average through 27 games this season. The Cypress, Calif., native hit .583 at the Holiday Inn Tulsa-City Center Festival, recording six RBI with two doubles and a home run. Herron recorded a season-high four RBI in the 10-4 loss vs. Drake March 5 – the big offensive game was the second time this year she has claimed at least four RBI in a single game.
Senior Brittany Goodchild led the team in hitting in Tulsa, batting .600 at the plate with six hits, a double and two walks.
10 STRIKEOUTS VS. THE TOREROS
Karisa Medrano, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., led the Buckeyes to a 4-2 victory at San Diego March 18 with a career-high 10 strikeouts en route to her second win of the season. The OSU starter was dominant throughout the game and had a no-hitter through 4.1 innings vs. the Toreros. The win for Medrano was her second-career complete game performance as a Buckeye.
PLANTS CLAIMS FIRST COLLEIGATE WIN
Freshman pitcher Audrey Plant, a native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, claimed her first collegiate win in the 8-0 victory against Iowa State March 4, throwing a complete game one-hitter vs. the Cyclones. In the five innings of work, the Buckeye rookie allowed just one hit with five strike outs. The only hit she allowed came in the bottom of the second inning when ISU shortstop Dayln Varela singled to left field. Plant was dominant throughout the game as only two ISU batters reached second base, while retiring the last nine batters she faced in the game.
CARRILLO’S 11-GAME HIT STREAK
Freshman Evelyn Carrillo, a native of Corona, Calif., began her Buckeye career with a team-high 11-game hit streak from Feb. 12-Feb. 26. During the streak, the Buckeye first baseman collected a .359 batting average with 14 hits and 11 RBI. Currently batting .271 this season, Carrillo has played in all 27 games for Ohio State and is fourth on the team with 23 hits, slugging .459 at the plate.
FOUR BUCKEYES EARN FIRST WIN IN 2011
Seniors Brittany Goodchild and Karisa Medrano as well as freshmen Kasie Kelly and Audrey Plant each have claimed their first career wins in the circle for the Buckeyes this season.
Goodchild, a native of West Hills, Calif., picked up her first career win after throwing the last 5.2 innings in the Buckeyes’ 12-4 come-from-behind win against Evansville Feb. 20 at the South Alabama Tournament in Mobile. In her relief effort, Goodchild shut down the Evansville batters, allowing no runs on five hits with one strikeout. She is 1-0 overall in 2011, coming in from the outfield as a relief pitcher for the Scarlet and Gray.
Medrano, a native of Albuquerque, N.M, gave the Scarlet and Gray their first victory of the season in the 10-1 victory against North Florida at the FIU Combat Classic in Miami, Fla. In just her second-career start, the Buckeye pitcher threw a complete-game vs. the Ospreys, allowing just three hits and one earned run in seven innings of work. She didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings of the game and struck out three UNF batters.
Kelly, a native of Wooster, Ohio, earned her first victory after Ohio State defeated FIU, 2-1, Feb. 12 in Miami, Fla. The Buckeye rookie pitched five innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, striking out five FIU hitters. The OSU starter is 3-5 overall this season with 5.60 ERA in a team-high 20 appearances in the circle.
Plant, claimed her first collegiate win in the 8-0 victory against Iowa State March 4 in Tulsa, Okla., throwing a complete game one-hitter vs. the Cyclones. In the five innings of work, the Buckeye rookie allowed just one hit with five strikeouts. She is 2-3 overall this season with a 6.63 ERA in 13 appearances for Ohio State.
BIG TEN CO-FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Melissa Rennie, a freshman catcher, was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Feb. 21. The native of Wellington, Ohio, claimed the weekly laurel along with freshman pitcher Cassee Layne of Michigan State.
It was the first weekly award of Rennie’s career and first conference recognition of the season for the Buckeyes. The OSU rookie earned the honor after helping the squad to two wins at the South Alabama Invitational in Mobile, Ala. In three games at the tournament, Rennie totaled seven hits, including three home runs with six RBI in her second career collegiate tournament.
Seven Buckeyes have homered this season, including junior Alicia Herron (4), freshman Evelyn Carrillo (4), freshman Melissa Rennie (3), sophomore Cara Longworth (1), senior Rachael Shepherd (1), sophomore Julia Pecina (1) and freshman Melaina Saalfeld (1). In all, the Buckeyes have recorded 47 extra-base hits.
Ohio State will return home to play four games next week in Columbus at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes host Pittsburgh in a non-conference doubleheader at 4 p.m. April 6 before returning to Big Ten play with two games against Illinois April 9-10 at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. The second game vs. the Fighting Illini will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.